I made a cheesecake for a colleague’s birthday. This is a proper baked cheesecake, American style. You can find the recipe in Sue Lawrence’s book of Baking.
You start with a base made from digestive biscuits. I suppose if you’re a real purist you could make your own… but they do come in packets. I put them in a bag and smash them with a masher.
And then some melted butter goes in.
Once it’s all mixed together, I used the masher again to flatten it all out in the greased and lined tin. Springform cake tins are brilliant.
And now for a whole lot of cheese! I’m not using the light Philly out of calorie-fear – it’s recommended in the book as it gives a better texture than the full fat kind. I did make a full-fat one once and it wasn’t as good.
OK, this is how much flour is in the whole cheesecake. I think this is the part that makes it a “cake”.
Mixing all of the ingredients together makes a brilliant squelching noise. Or a disgusting one if you’re not a fan of squelches.
After it’s all thoroughly mixed it gets poured onto the chilled biscuit base and gently smoothed out.
Happily, I had a tiny bit of spare everything.
They go in at a high heat for the first few minutes, and then bake cooler for a lot longer. I had to guess a bit for the mini cheesecakes! Near the end of the cooking time, you can add a thin layer of sour cream mixed with sugar. It really makes the top nice and smooth, but take care not to let too much run down the sides of the tin like I did… it burns up.
But look how smooth it makes the top!
The mini cheesecakes didn’t fully cook through, but the big one was lovely and rich and fluffy when it was cut the next day!
At least we got to eat the mini ones the same day…yum! The big version was left in the oven overnight to cool slowly, and cut well the next day.